Swearing has always been part and parcel of sport

PUT ON A PEDESTAL Wayne Rooney
PUT ON A PEDESTAL Wayne Rooney
Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

Keep children safe – but beware the nanny state

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After a year of constant harassment and intrusion, Wayne Rooney finally blew his top at the national media after proving he still does ‘have it’ as a footballer.

He must be fed up with the hypocrites constantly commenting on his actions via radio, television or the written press.

The arrogant Colin Murray spent 20 minutes on the subject, trying to get a rise out of his panel of guests on Radio 5 Live, then pressed Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson for an opinion on Match of the Day 2. Murray seemed to have forgotten how he flippantly said the F word on Radio 1 a few years back.

Swearing is part and parcel of sport. One of my earliest football memories is Bryan Robson holding aloft the FA Cup and swearing in joy. Rugby players swear, tennis players swear.

You’d be disgusted if you heard the ‘sledging’ or badmouthing that goes on at the crease in cricket.

The football pitch is no place for a camera. Yes, I understand that television companies want more interesting angles and to be closer and closer to the action during a game.

But they too have a responsibility to know that you should expect this kind of reaction in the heat of the moment.

Rooney is a simple lad from Liverpool, not the brain of Britain. The national press put him on a huge pedestal when he was a 16-year-old and they continue to spin it faster and faster as he keeps making the wrong decisions in his private life.

When will the press be happy? When a man they thought would win us the World Cup burns himself out before he’s 30? Do we need another Gazza?

The pressure put on our elite footballers by the press undoubtedly affects their form.

It’s no coincidence Paul Robinson is in the form of his life having turned his back on international football at just 31.

The press made his life hell as England’s No 1 goalkeeper and now he’s free of that sort of intense criticism.

Yes, blame the players and Fabio Capello for our awful World Cup performance.

But I reckon we should lay some of the blame at the feet of our national newspapers too.